SINGAPORE - Two government bodies and a fashion retailer have been recognised for their good business practices at the annual Business Excellence Awards last Tuesday.
Wing Tai Retail Singapore and Singapore Customs both won the Singapore Quality Award (SQA) while the Singapore Prison Service won an SQA with Special Commendation.
The SQA with Special Commendation is given to past SQA winners that have continued to show improvement in their business practices.
The SQA was first presented in 1995 to companies that have successfully implemented business excellence concepts.
The SQA with Special Commendation was introduced in 2006.
The Singapore Prison Service has achieved one of the world's lowest recidivism rates, a testament to the success of its rehabilitation and reintegration work, said the SQA governing council, which approved the winners.
The Prison Service's Yellow Ribbon Project, which promotes the acceptance of ex-offenders, has become an inspiration for other countries to emulate, it added.
Wing Tai Retail Singapore is the first retailer to win the SQA.
The council noted that the company's productivity initiatives, which include implementing a retail enterprise resource system, has enabled it to achieve annual cost savings of about $500,000.
"This system helps us to align and integrate all our 15 different brands, which were built on different operating platforms, into one platform," said executive director Helen Khoo.
The system allows staff to view the sales and stock levels of all 15 brands at once and allows them to take any necessary action quickly.
"We are now able to visualise better what our expected sales will be according to which day of the week it is, and this helps us to better plan our labour deployment," Mrs Khoo added.
Singapore Customs was singled out for praise for using technology to devise innovations that have given Singapore a competitive edge in the global trade industry.
In 1989, it pioneered the world's first national trade single window system, TradeNet, which became known as TradeXchange in 2007.
TradeXchange is a secure platform that connects players in the trading, logistics and finance communities.
The Customs service has also enhanced productivity by automating data extraction and eliminating multiple data entries.
This enables companies to cut the preparation time for trade declarations by up to half.
Freight forwarders have also been able to slash the time to make marine cargo insurance applications by up to 90 per cent.